War and Peace

The Oxford Riots and Aftermath

Quelling the Riots

From “Archipelago to Empire: A History of Albion”, ed. Hardwicke & Nathaniel, Oxford (Invisible College Press) 1815.

“…The Great Riots of '48, also known as the Oxford Riots, sputtered and sparked for long weeks even after relocations and curfews began to stem the tide. The intensity and degree of property damage and personal violence during the riots has led some scholars to blame deliberate infiltration by foreign powers; however, a contrasting theory holds that with the members of Court often trapped behind fortified walls and only able to pass through the streets of the Capital when surrounded by guards, the agitators might equally have been paid to create a delaying action of sorts – a distraction, such that certain nefarious plans pertaining to the '49-'51 crisis could be set in motion.

…Military historians often heard to note that the plans implemented by Major-General Devereux, working with local forces to relocate troublemakers to camps outside Oxford proper, were made all the more effective by their swift deployment; clearly there were elements within the army who had planned for just such an occasion. Meanwhile, the great Major Altair ibn Al-Lahad, not yet known as the Hero of the Episcopal Crisis but merely an honest Army officer, was found rooting out the daemonic influences agitating the riots and destroying them with fire and the sword, while Alexander Gray supplied his famed silver-tongued negotiating charms with a hefty backup of Horticulturalists sea-serpents and dragons. The Sisters of Hecate, represented most prominently in Oxford by Gwen verch Morcant, were also on hand with calming tactics and various medical supplies and support…

…Despite the great atmosphere of terror and helplessness that contemporary accounts ascribe to the citizens of Oxford, particularly when presented with scores of armed men on their streets – some uniformed, some not, and none utterly trustworthy – the '48 Riots are particularly notable to the historian for their first use of Conjurers as a crowd-calming mechanism. Both the free entertainments laid on by the 'Marvelous Mystico' (indeed, the Riots saw the first performance of the famous A Fleeting Illusion) and the pageants and parades of the Glorious of Albion used by the Baron Malborough, while they may seem incongruous to the modern reader, were the precursors and forerunners to the methods used to quell the Succession Protests, the Rhodesian Riots and even the most recent Gin Riots.

With peace finally restored to Oxford, military forces quickly moved into other areas of unrest, and for a few months at least, the country remained at peace. Most of the agitators were executed or imprisoned, but some at least escaped to outlying islands, to await further instructions…”


From “A Brief History of Sorcery”, Chapter 14: Notable Exorcisms and Banishments. Silversmith & Ben-Sahar, Oxford: Hereford College Press, 1867

“…Tsung Chang-Mai looked at the Imp. The Imp looked at Tsung Chang-Mai. Demon and Sorcerer stared at each other unblinking for unending minutes. The Imp broke first, looked down and started shuffling his feet.

“Go now. Never return,” ordered the Cathayan in precise Daemonic. Before she had even finished, the Imp had disappeared in a puff of brimstone…

…with support from the Sisters of Hecate under Gwen verch Morcant, and the resources of the East India Company under Lord-Director Wilson Mandrake, the daemonic infestation of Invictus, though subtle and pervasive, was eventually removed from the land. A few members of Epsom College assisted in the efforts, though many were simply apathetic, or refused to believe that there was a problem…

…many had cited Invictus as the starting-point for the Oxford Riots, and though the matter is one of some contention, if it is true that the Riots were masterminded by the great villain Haroun ibn Rasheed, who owned great swathes of land on Invictus and kept many of his regiment, the Eynesford First of Foot, on the territory. From the hands of the treacherous Jack Hooke to the equally treacherous Baron, it seems that the island was rapidly gaining an evil reputation, one that would be borne out by its swift declaration for the Episcopal faction during the ensuing Crisis…

…notable as one of the first times during which a Cathayan Sorcerer compelled a large number of Western demons through force of threat and bargaining alone, rather than through more traditional exorcisms. Certain members of the Embassy and the Eastern Universities have, in later centuries, been heard to mutter in mildly disparaging terms about the exercise, noting that while it was certainly effective, the operation involved very few firecrackers and very little incense indeed, thus rendering it somewhat out of the usual form…”

The Baron Eynesford: Investigations and Accusations

From “Fair is Foul: A Biography of the Arch-Heretic”, Roderick Bassano. De Vries: Jerusalem Press, 1782

“…The controversy surrounding the arrest of the arrest of Baron Haroun ibn Rasheed, and the consequent attempts both to bring him to trial and to remove his tendrils from the country's infrastructure, were perhaps one of the greatest uniting factors among many of the different Courtiers and luminaries of the land. Ironically, were it not for the sheer extent of the dangerous and evil network that the Arch-Heretic had spread throughout the kingdom, it is possible that the spirit of cooperation and keen information-gathering that allowed the leaders of the land to conduct the defence against the Episcopal Crisis in latter years would never have been fostered.

It now seems certain, although there was great confusion at the time, that the Haroun ibn Rasheed who was tried and hanged for Treason, Infernalism, Heresy and a host of other crimes in 1648 was merely a simulacrum or dupe. At the time, the confusion and trickery of the crisis, combined with the uncertainty of differentiating between a man-formed demon and a daemonic man, meant that some, at least, thought the threat of the diabolist had finally been lifted from Albion. Some occupied themselves with the legalities of the case, ensuring that no corrupt lawyer from the Inns of Court could interfere with the course of justice; records from the time indicate that Lord Gray, Dame Gamut, Archbishop Lockett, Lord-Director Mandrake and the Earl of Hereford, among other names eminently recognisable from the history books, were active during the trial.

Others, meanwhile, attempted to discover where the Baron Eynesford had hidden his books and papers; a secret study in the Midnight Rose, discovered by Professor Isabel Meredith and Dame Eliza, the salon's new owner, revealed Sorcerous texts most terrible. Meanwhile, the Cathayan Ambassador worked in concert with the men of Albion to investigate the demon Scarmiglione, attempting to find the source of the daemonic taint upon Invictus; with leads in the Vale of Tears in Hell, an investigative team found several leads in the following months, each chased and followed. Later, more scientific texts have explored the precise relation of this demon Scarmiglione to the Duke known as Asmodai, and the process by which Asmodai was subsumed or suborned into ibn Rasheed's service (see bibliography, particularly the recent study by the Faculty of Experimental Demonology at Invisible)…

Investigation into the Church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, began to reveal certain inconsistencies and discrepancies – but despite reasonable suspicions on the part of several of His Majesty's Court, nothing concrete and conclusive could be proved until it was very nearly too late…”

The Civil War

Excommunication, Outrage, Foreign Interference

Introduction to a new exhibition at Oxford, 2004, revealing a manuscript collection of pamphlets and transcripts of sermons from 1648-1649.

“…of particular interest to historians of the Sisters of Hecate, since these sermons and pamphlets are now widely viewed as actively directed against two of the most famous women of the Sisters' history: Dame Eliza Gamut and Professor Gwen verch Morcant. Indeed, it could be said that the increasing atmosphere of suspicion, divisive nationalism and anti-Witch sentiment through the early part of the Episcopal Crisis was the greatest factor in preventing the Arch-Heretic's enemies from finding his hiding-place at the head of the Church…

…countless Witches and innocent women lost their lives during the ensuing pogrom, and we ask that visitors to the Exhibition make a small donation to the Sisters' Widowers and Orphans fund in memory of this loss…”

Extract from the script of “Matthew Tudor”, a popular Albion Broadcasting Corporation ulteriphote programme providing a dramatised version of the life of King Matthew I.

CANTERBURY: “…and so I hereby sign and decree that for crimes against God and Country, for surely causing by negligence and Diabolism the Oxford riots which have left so many good Christian men and women dead, Matthew Tudor is to be henceforth excommunicated from the Church of England! Let him find solace in the Cornish demon-worshippers and the bloodthirsty Jews with whom he consorts!”

BISHOP 1: “But, your grace–”

	[Canterbury rises from his seat and brandishes the paper.]

CANTERBURY: “This has gone on long enough! Call the Synod of Bishops!”

	[Closing credits]

VOICEOVER: “Next week, on 'Matthew Tudor'…”

Interactive exhibit at the Museum of Raised London, incorporating holographic and heliodynamic scripting.

“…now, as you can see from the display, the floating city of Canterbury was moored very near the site of London during the first stages of the Episcopal Crisis. Note this down in your copybooks.

Now answer this question: At the time when the King officially removed the Archbishop of Canterbury from Office, and the Treacherous Fifty-Two declared for Canterbury as the Head of the Church, was London:

A. Still underwater, B. Above water, C. On the Moon?”

Lecture notes for “Introduction to Church Politics”, taught as part of the International Diplomacy module at Scone Officer Training College, 1940

“….Spurred on by this sudden religious schism, many European powers offered aid and men - some subtle, some less so - to the Royalists or Episcopalians. Note the power of rumour and suggestion during this time, before the mass communication made possible by wide-band Aetheric transmission-encoding – for example, word of mouth suggesting that the Archbishop had made a deal with the Vatican to return England to Catholicism was widely held responsible for the sudden great increase in tensions and breakdown in negotiations. Meanwhile, aid arriving to the Episcopalians from Catholic Italy and Spain did little to quell the rumours.

For next week, please prepare a presentation on the changing face of public opinion and its impact upon Church Politics throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, paying particular attention to the evolving meaning of “sermon” and summarising any relevant doctrinal issues.”

The War Years: 1649-1651

Audio recording of Professor Richard Takevirgin's seminal lecture series on “The Episcopal Crisis: Truth, Fiction and Lots of Big Explosions”, first delivered at the Dawkins Institute, 1979

“…more politely known as the 'Episcopal Crisis', it is clear to any serious historian that the events of 1649-51 were a true Civil War such as Albion had not seen since the death of King Henry IX. Over the next few weeks we will be covering several aspects of the military and political history of the events, with particular reference to the role that floating and mobile cities and institutions played in the conflict. In the final week, we will be running a workshop considering the historical effects on conflicts such as Rhodesia and Tlaloc, and on the politics and fortifications of modern mobile cities and city-states such as Haojing, Free Kathmandu and New Barcelona…

Week One: Transport and Logistics. The influence of several Navigators, including “Solomon” Jones, Lady Weaver and Gwen verch Morcant, upon internal politics of the Guild of Navigators during the conflict. Considering the impact of the official ruling of neutrality from the Guildmaster, and the difficulty of mastering infantry transport in a largely pre-mechanised Archipelago. Includes small field-trip to the Outer Hull of the Institute, where the mooring-points for several of the conflict's troopships are still visible.

Week Two: Zealots and Guerillas. The impact of Daemonic reinforcement on the zealous regiments loyal to the Synod, despite their inferior numbers. Consideration of the use of guerilla tactics and supernatural assistance; assessment of Royalist victories on large land masses, compared to Episcopal “scorched earth” strategy. Investigation of the success of holding actions on smaller, more mobile locations, where numerical superiority cannot be brought to bear.

Week Three: Men of Action. Considering the influence of particular military and paramilitary commanders during the conflict, in particular the latter months, after the deaths of the Lord-General and the Master Gardener and their replacements by the Earl of Hereford and the Viscount of Crieff. For preparation, please read Jacob Ventis' excellent recent alternate-history novel “Theocracy”, which takes a speculative look at an Albion in which the Episcopalian side won. B Group, please also prepare a synopsis of your opinions on the “Freak Doctrinal Accident” which is recorded as having killed Bellerophon Tolliver.

Week Four: Sieges and Sorties. The Siege of Liverpool and the death of Lord-General d'Arcy, the six takings and re-takings of the city of Durham and its consequent secession after being piloted into the North Sea by an enraged populace, the repeated Sieges of Canterbury and several other actions will be considered….”

The Final Strike

Extract from the flashback scenes in the first aired episode of “Son of None”, the popular 1950s illusion, during which Daniel ibn La-Ahad's history is revealed.


“…finally, after two years of devastating civil war, ravaging the country and leaving many islands blasted and burned, unsuitable for habitation – let alone the horrors that had been unleashed in the waters of the Archipelago – a concerted and sustained siege by the Horticulturalists managed to isolate and surround Canterbury, sabotaging its engines and cutting it off from reinforcements and supplies. The Army and naval forces swiftly moved to occupy surrounding islands, and the embattled city settled in for what was expected to be a prolonged and painful siege.

However, it was at this point that the East India Company's newly-repaired 'Cloudbase' deployed from Hereford, where engineers had been working day and night to bring it up to full strength…”

[Reconstructed kinematographic footage of the Company's floating island soaring through the skies, before delivering a devastating “Cloudstrike” assault on the city of Canterbury, supported by dragon cavalry]

“…the armed forces swept through the wreckage, securing what was left of the devastated and rapidly sinking city. At the heart of the city, the Archbishop, miraculously still alive, was found crawling from the wreckage, and there was finally no doubt in the Royalists' minds that Haroun ibn Rasheed, the arch-Heretic, would be defeated once and for all….”

[Reconstructed footage of Haroun being assaulted by several troops, defending himself with terrible daemonic power, with demons apparently appearing from thin air to attack the heroes of Albion. Visible in the fight are actors portraying Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live Jones, Zackarias Fitz, Walter Devereux and Altair ibn La-Ahad, among many other heroes of the land.]

“…the final blow, as any schoolchild can tell you, was struck by Colonel Altair ibn La-Ahad, who, fatally wounded after battling through hordes of daemonic defenders, crushed the demon-duke to the ground and severed his very substance with the last strength in his body. It is unknown what terrible enchantments were upon the sword he used to strike that final blow, but witness accounts testify that its killing blow seemed to banish the Demon-Duke screaming back to Hell itself, never more to trouble the shores of Albion as a mortal man.”

[Closeup of the actor portraying Altair's dying face, with a brave smile on his lips as he realises he has saved the nation of Albion.]

“Altair might have died in the assault, but his legacy lives on….”

news/2.eternity.war_and_peace.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/04 03:06 by innokenti